Hadleigh’s mayor won back the town’s Suffolk County Council seat for the Liberal Democrats in last week’s by-election, meaning the Conservatives have lost their majority on the council.
The Liberal Democrat mayor of Hadleigh, Trevor Sheldrick, won the election, which had previously been that of Conservative councillor Brian Riley.
Trevor Sheldrick gained 642 votes to the Conservatives 460. Labour were third with 397, UKIP 204 and Green Party 70.
The by-election was caused by the disqualification of Brian Riley, who moved to the United States in March 2015 but refused to resign.
He lost his position after failing to attend a meeting within six months.
Mr Riley was voted in as a Conservative councillor but had the party whip removed after his decision not retire following his move to the US.
Prior to 2013 Hadleigh had been represented by Liberal Democrat David Grutchfield for 24 years.
After being elected Mr Sheldrick said: “I am delighted to have been elected to serve the people of Hadleigh.
“Local residents had been telling us how disappointed they were the Conservatives – both at Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council.
“They felt that no-one was standing up for the town. This was underlined by the vote to close the Babergh council headquarters in Hadleigh and move all staff to Endeavour House in Ipswich.
“My election is also a testament to the reputation of our former county and district councillor, David Grutchfield, who dedicated nearly 30 years of his life to the town until his retirement from active politics last year.”
Trevor Sheldrick is in his tenth year as a Hadleigh town councillor and is currently serving as the town’s mayor.
He is a community speedwatch volunteer and a first responder – attending emergency calls ahead of the arrival of the ambulance service.
He is married to June and has lived in Hadleigh all his adult life.
Trevor added: “I would also like to thank the brilliant team who helped me to get elected. I couldn’t have done it without them.”